Calories Burned Climbing One Flight of Stairs

Mother and baby on subway steps
A woman walks up the subway stairs with her baby and a grocery bag. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

It's temping to stand in the lobby of your office or apartment building and wait for the elevator, but you'll do your health a favor through a commitment to climbing the stairs. The act of climbing stairs is a challenging exercise that burns calories quickly -- in just one flight at a time, however, you won't likely get your work clothing doused in sweat. Always consult your doctor, though, before choosing the stairs instead of the elevator.

Better Than the Elevator

The website HealthStatus notes a person who weighs 160 pounds burns about nine calories during a minute of walking up a set of stairs. During the same activity, a 210-pound person burns about 12 calories. If climbing a flight of stairs takes you about 30 seconds, expect to burn half the above calories. While this calorie burn might seem low, standing in the elevator for a minute burns about one and two calories, respectively, for the two people.

Climb Toward Better Health

Climbing the stairs as much as possible does wonders for your health. In addition to burning calories at a faster rate than many other forms of exercise, stair climbing builds your muscles, strengthens your bones and leads to greater cardiovascular health. For a challenging workout, devote 10 or 15 minutes to walking or running up a set of stairs in a park or other low-traffic area. Again, consult your doctor first, and if you experience joint pain during the workout, stop until you're free of pain.

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